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Scientific Article

Dental caries in HIV-infected children: a longitudinal study


M. John Hicks DDS, MS, PhD, MD Catherine M. Flaitz DDS, MS A. Bruce Carter DDS Stanley G. Cron MSPH Susan N. Rossmann MD, PhD Cara L. Simon BSN, MSN Gail J. Demmler MD Mark W. Kline MD
Dr. Hicks is an associate professor, Department of Pathology, Dr. Carter is an assistant professor, Division of Dentistry, Department of Surgery, Mr. Cron is a biostatician, Epidemiology Center, Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Rossmann is an assistant professor, Department of Pathology, Ms. Simon is a nurse practitioner, Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Demmler is an associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, and Dr. Kline is a professor, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Childrens Hospital; Dr. Flaitz is a professor, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Department of Stomatology, University of Texas-Houston, Health Science Center, Dental Branch. Correspond with Dr. Hicks mjhicks@texaschildrenshospital.org

Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this descriptive longitudinal clinical study was to determine primary and permanent dentition caries status in HIV-infected children, and to compare caries status with the CD4 percentage (CD4%) and immune suppression category. Materials and methods: 73 children up to 9 years of age with vertical HIV transmission were evaluated for caries in the primary dentition at baseline and at 6 month intervals over a 30 month period; while 19 HIV-infected children between 5 and 11 years of age had their permanent dentition evaluated for caries at baseline and at 6 month intervals over a 24 month period. Caries status was also compared with CDC CD4 percentage (>25%, 15-24%, <15%), and CDC immune suppression categories (immune suppression: none, moderate, severe). With primary dentition caries, comparisons were made among all children (2-9 yr-olds, N=73), <2 yr-olds (N=28), 2 to 4 yr-olds (N=20), and 5 to 9 yr-olds (N=25), and compared with NHANES III data. Caries-free status was also determined. Results: During the 30-month period, there was an almost twofold increase in primary tooth surface caries for the 2 to 9 year-olds. Caries-free status in the primary dentition declined from 60% at baseline to 37% at the 30-month period. With 5 to 11 years-olds, DMFS and DMFT remained relatively stable, while the proportion of caries-free individuals declined from 72% at baseline to 50% at 18 months. Caries in the primary dentition was increased substantially for those in the low CDC CD4 percentage categories and CDC moderate to severe immune suppression categories. Conclusion: Primary dentition caries status in HIV-infected children is considerably greater than that for the US pediatric population, and increases with decreasing CD4 percentage and moderate to severe immune suppression. HIV-infected children with caries-free primary dentitions are less frequent than in the US pediatric population, and caries-free status decreases with age, lower CD4 percentage and moderate to severe immune suppression. (Pediatr Dent 22:359-364, 2000) birth canal accounts for 84 to 91% of infected infants.2,4-6 Blood transfusion and hemophilia are less common risk factors; and with the introduction of HIV p24 antigen blood product screening in the US, this form of HIV transmission is increasingly rare. Although African-Americans make up only about
Table 1. Pediatric HIV Infection and AIDS in the United States Exposure Category (<13 years of age) Vertical Transmission Blood Transfusion Hemophilia/Coagulation Disorder Risk Not Identified Ethnicity (<13 years of age) African-American Hispanic White, Not Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander American Indian/Alaska Native Persons Living with AIDS Pediatric (<13 years of age) Adolescents (13 - 19 years of age) Adults Persons Living with HIV Infection Pediatric (<13 years of age) Adolescents (13 - 19 years of age) Adults Persons Dead of AIDS Pediatric (<15 years of age) 15 to 24 Years of Age > 24 Years of Age

HIV 84% 2% 2% 13% 63% 11% 24% <1% <1%

AIDS 91% 4% 3% 2% 58% 23% 17% <1% <1% 1% (3,669) 1% (3,564) 98% (288,994) 1% (5,374) 1% (4,472) 98% (384,107) 1% (4,975) 2% (8,508) 97% (406,718)

ithin the United States, pediatric and adolescent HIV/AIDS accounts for approximately 2% of all cases (Table 1).1-6 Vertical transmission with acquisition of HIV transplacentally or during passage through the

Compiled from reference 1.

Received January 26, 2000

Revision Accepted July 20, 2000 American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry 359

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15% of the US pediatric population, almost two-thirds of pediatric HIV/AIDS occurs in this ethnic group. 1-6 Likewise, Hispanic children are over-represented based upon population proportion alone.1-6 With an increasing proportion of adolescents and women becoming infected in the US due to sexual contact and intravenous drug transmission, concern exists regarding a possible increase in the absolute number of infants born to women with HIV/AIDS, despite the overall decreased HIV transmission risk with prenatal and perinatal administration of antiretroviral drugs. Although there are many studies4-10 evaluating oral soft tissue manifestations of HIV/AIDS in children, there are relatively few clinical investigations into the prevalence and incidence of dental caries in the primary and permanent dentitions.11-15 Some authorities in pediatric HIV/AIDS have indicated that there is no substantial difference between pediatric HIV/AIDS children and the general child population; while others have noted increased caries susceptibility. In one study of adult Africans, a lower caries prevalence was found in HIV-infected people, than in noninfected persons.9 In US HIV-infected adults, caries susceptibility studies have been limited and these have reported conflicting results. The purpose of this longitudinal descriptive study was to determine the dental caries status of children infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and compare immune suppression and CD4 percentage with caries status.

During the 30 month time course of this longitudinal study, there was an almost two-fold increase in primary tooth surface caries (dfs, Table 2) from the baseline examination to the 30 month examination for 2 to 9 year-olds. The number of primary teeth involved remained relatively constant for all children between 2 to 9 years of age. Caries-free status in the primary dentition for 2 to 9 year-olds declined from approximately 60% at baseline to 37% at the 30 month examination. For both dfs and dft, the higher levels were typically seen in the 5 to 9 yearolds. Likewise, the lowest proportion of children with a
Table 2. Dental Caries in HIV-Infected Children: Primary Dentition Age Group dfs dft Caries-Free

NHANES III National Survey of Primary Tooth Caries in US Children 2-9 year-olds 2-4 year-olds 5-9 year-olds 3.1 1.2 4.1 1.4 0.6 1.9 62% 83% 50%

Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Childrens Hospital Oral Manifestations of HIV Study Baseline Examination 2-9 year-olds <2 year-olds 2-4 year-olds 5-9 year-olds 6 Month Examination 2-9 year-olds <2 year-olds 2-4 year-olds 5-9 year-olds 12 Month Examination 2-9 year-olds <2 year-olds 2-4 year-olds 5-9 year-olds 18 Month Examination 2-9 year-olds 2-4 year-olds 5-9 year-olds 24 Month Examination 2-9 year-olds 2-4 year-olds 5-9 year-olds 30 Month Examination 2-9 year-olds 2-4 year-olds 5-9 year-olds

7.0 0.9 2.7 14.4 7.6 0 7.6 13.3 9.6 0 8.2 14.3 13.8 9.3 18.8 12.0 10.6 10.5 12.8 16.2 9.7

3.7 NA 3.0 4.5 2.5 0 1.5 4.0 3.4 0 2.6 4.5 3.9 2.6 5.2 3.4 3.0 3.3 3.8 4.1 3.5

57% 87% 65% 32% 60% 100% 61% 31% 47% 100% 50% 25% 39% 56% 17% 41% 52% 17% 37% 44% 30%

Methods
A total of 73 children up to 9 years of age with vertically transmitted HIV-infection were available for evaluation of their primary dentition over a 30 month period. These children were subdivided into three age categories (<2 years of age, N=28; 2 to 4 years of age, N=20; 5 to 9 years of age, N=25). The children were evaluated for caries in their primary dentition (dfs/ dft and caries-free) at baseline and at 6 month intervals over a 30 month time period. Comparisons were made between primary dentition caries at each time period and Center for Disease Control (CDC) immune suppression categories (none, moderate and severe) and the CDC CD4 percentage (<15%, 15 to 24%, >25%). The primary dentition caries data were also contrasted with that from the NHANES III national survey of primary dentition caries in United States (US) children from 2 to 9 years of age.16-18 In addition, 19 children between the ages of 5 to 11 years of age were evaluated for caries in their permanent teeth (DMFS/DMFT and caries-free) at baseline and every 6 months over a 24 month time period. Permanent dentition caries data were compared with that from the NHANES III national survey of permanent dental caries prevalence in US children from 5 to 11 years of age.16,17,19 The data from the present study provides trends and not statistical evaluation due to the limited number of children in each variable group. Also, the data is compared with the general US pediatric population, because a large primary caries prevalence study of predominantly US minority children is not available. Human subject approval was obtained from the Institutional Review Board, and informed consent was obtained from the parent(s) or legal guardian prior to inclusion in the study.

Results

Compiled from reference 16.

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Table 3. Dental Caries in HIV-Infected 5-11 Year-Old Children: Permanent Dentition DMFS DMFT Caries-Free

Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Childrens Hospital Oral Manifestation of HIV Study Baseline Examination 6 Month Examination 12 Month Examination 18 Month Examination 24 Month Examination 1.5 1.2 1.5 1.9 1.3 0.8 0.8 1.0 1.3 0.9 72% 68% 61% 50% 64%

NHANES III National Survey of Permanent Tooth Caries: 5-11 Year-Old US Children 0.9 0.6 74% HIV-Positive Children and Their Siblings (New Jersey Dental School) deft HIV-Positive Children All Children 3-6 Year-Olds >6 Year-Olds HIV-Negative Siblings All Children 3-6 Year-Olds >6 Year-Olds

DMFT 1.0 0 1.3 1.0 1.0 1.6

Caries-Free 34% 46% 7% 56% 58% 33%

both the moderate and severe immune suppression groups when compared with the no immune suppression group. CD4 percentage categories had certain trends with respect to the number of carious surfaces and teeth in the primary dentition (Table 5). With the lowest CD4 percentage group (<15%), the highest dfs were found in all examination periods. With children having CD4 percentages between 15 to 24%, their dfs scores were intermediate between the lowest CD4 and highest CD4 percentage groups for most examination periods. The difference in the number of primary surfaces involved by caries ranged from as low as 4.6 to as high as 18.8 between the highest (>25%) and lowest (<15%) CD4 percentage categories. The number of carious primary teeth (dft) was highest for those in the <15% CD4 category, most at examinations, and was lowest for the >25% CD4 category, except at baseline and the 30 month examination. Caries-free status in the primary dentition was quite variable among the CD4 percentage categories. In general, there was a trend toward higher caries-free percentages in the highest (>25%) CD4 category.

3.8 3.2 5.7 1.5 2.0 1.7

Discussion
Although HIV-infected children and adolescents have significant oral soft tissue manifestations,4-10 it is quite obvious from the findings in the present study and prior studies 11,12 that dental caries, particularly in the primary dentition, occurs out of proportion to that in the general US pediatric population, as well as in uninfected siblings.11,12 Comparison of the data from the present study with the NHANES III survey16-19 readily illustrates the discrepancy between 2 to 9 year-old HIV-infected children and US preschool and primary school children. With HIV infection, the number of primary tooth surfaces involved by caries is increased by 2.3 to 4.5 fold; while the number of primary teeth affected by caries is 1.8 to 2.8 times greater. Primary dentition caries is increased by even a greater degree in 5 to 9 year-olds with HIV infection, compared with 5 to 9 year-olds in the general US pediatric population. At the baseline examination, the proportion of 2 to 9 year-old HIV-infected children who were caries-free was similar to the NHANES cohort. Over the 30 month period, there was a considerable decrease in the percentage of caries-free HIV-infected 2 to 9 year-olds, with only 37% remaining caries-free compared with a caries-free level of 62% in US 2 to 9 year-olds. While there were a limited number of 5 to 11 year-old HIV-infected children in the present study, caries experience in the permanent dentition was increased over that for 5 to 11 year-olds in the NHANES III survey. DMFS was increased by 1.2 to 2.1 fold and DMFT was increased by 1.3 to 2.2 fold during the 24 month examination period. Caries-free status was similar, but somewhat less than that for the NHANES III 5 to 11 year-olds. Similar trends for primary and permanent dentition caries have been reported in other HIVinfected children in the United States.11,12 Trends toward greater dental caries experience in the primary dentition with increasing immune suppression and decreased CD4 percentages were noted. Severe immune suppression as defined by the CDC categories resulted in consistently high caries prevalence. This category was associated with 2.8 to 23.7 fold increase in dfs compared with

Compiled from reference 16; Compiled from references 11 and 12.

caries-free primary dentition were consistently in the 5 to 9 year-old age group. Children in the 2 to 4 year-old age group showed a progressive dfs increase from baseline to the 30 month examination. With the permanent dentition in 5 to 11 year-olds (Table 3), the DMFS and DMFT were relatively stable. The DMFS ranged from 1.2 to 1.9 over the 24 month period, while the DMFT varied from 0.8 to 1.3 during this same time period. Caries-free status decreased moderately from the initial examination. For each examination period, the number of carious surfaces and teeth in the primary dentition were highest for those in the CDC severe immune suppression category and least for those without immune suppression according to the CDC guidelines (Table 4). The difference in dfs between no immune suppression and severe immune suppression category ranged from an increase of 6.7 carious surfaces at the 6 month examination to 15.9 carious surfaces at the 30 month examination. The difference in number of carious primary teeth (dft) ranged from 3 to 4 teeth between the no immune suppression and severe immune suppression groups. Substantial differences in dfs and dft were also found between the moderate immune suppression and severe immune suppression groups over the 30 month period. Caries-free status in the primary dentition from the 6 month through the 30 month period was decreased with

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Table 4. Primary Dentition Caries in HIV-Infected Children: Immune Suppression CDC Immune Suppression Category dfs dft Caries-Free

Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Childrens Hospital Oral Manifestation of HIV Study Baseline Examination None Moderate Severe 6 Month Examination None Moderate Severe 12 Month Examination None Moderate Severe 18 Month Examination None Moderate Severe 24 Month Examination None Moderate Severe 30 Month Examination None Moderate Severe 0.7 10.5 16.6 0.7 3.5 4.7 67% 25% 33% 3.3 6.8 18.3 1.0 2.6 5.0 50% 43% 39% 3.3 6.8 18.3 1.0 2.6 5.0 50% 45% 35% 4.3 5.2 12.4 1.0 2.6 4.0 67% 43% 45% 3.8 4.2 10.5 NA 2.7 2.7 75% 60% 57% 1.9 4.4 10.4 NA 3.2 4.1 57% 64% 52%

HIV-infected children with no immune suppression. Comparison between moderate and severe immune suppression revealed a 1.6 to 2.7 fold increase in dfs for the severe immune suppression category. The dft at most examination periods was typically 4 times greater for the severe immune suppression group compared with the no immune suppression group. Moderate immune suppression was associated consistently with a lower dft than that for the severe immune suppression category. Both >25% CD4 and 15 to 24% CD4 percentage categories had reduced primary dentition caries experience compared with the <15% CD4 percentage group. The least caries experience was with the >25% CD4 count group and this compared more favorably with that for 2 to 9 year-olds in the NHANES III survey.16-19 With the <15% CD4 category, dfs was increased by 1.9 to 4.7 fold over that for the >25% CD4 group and 1.5 to 7.9 fold for the 15 to 24% CD4 category. With dft comparisons, the <15% CD4 group had a dft which was typically increased by 2 to 3-fold over the >25% CD4 group and by 1.5 fold over the 15 to 24% CD4 category.

The trend toward increased caries susceptibility in HIVinfected children may be due to several different factors. Many of the children experience failure to thrive and more frequent feedings with carbohydrate and sucrose-rich foods may be necessary to maintain body weight.4- 6,11,12 It has been shown that increased frequency of carbohydrate intake in HIV infection is associated with increased caries prevalence and cariogenic microbes. 11,13 In addition to the increased frequency of carbohydrates, many of the medications essential for antiretroviral therapy and prophylaxis against opportunistic infections contain relatively high sweetener levels.4-6,11-13 The fact that these medications need to be taken on a frequent basis increases the childs exposure to cariogenic substances. Immune compromise in HIV-infected children may also be reflected in increased levels of cariogenic bacteria in these children.11 With HIV-infected children, over 40% had very high levels (106 CFU/ml) of mutans streptococci in their saliva. In contrast, only 13% of noninfected children had such levels of mutans streptocci in their saliva. In HIV-infected children over 6 years of age, high levels of mutans streptococci were found in slightly less than 60%. High lactobacillus concentrations in saliva (>105 CFU/ml) have been identified in over 50% of HIVinfected children and in 70% of these children over 6 years of age. In contrast, only about 25% of age-matched HIV-negative children have high levels of lactobacillus in their saliva. These findings may, in part, explain the caries differences among the immune suppression and CD4 percentage categories in the present study. With immune suppression and a decreased CD4 percentage, cariogenic bacteria may be increased in the saliva and, likewise, the dental plaque. It has been shown that lactobacillus levels, mutan streptococcus levels, carbohydrate intake frequency and deft, correlate statistically with the number of years that the child has been afflicted with HIV infection. Not only is caries prevalence at the time of examination a measure of caries susceptibility, but also the presence or absence of incipient white spot lesions.11 White spot lesions have been reported in two-thirds of HIV-infected children, in contrast to less than 50% of age-matched nonHIV-infected children. Even more remarkable is the fact that the mean number of white spot lesions in HIV-infected children was increased by 22-fold over that for nonHIV-infected children. Gingival status and immune status as determined by CD4 percentage or ratio and CDC immune suppression category also are associated with caries experience.13,20 Children with lower CD4 percentages or ratios and immune suppression categories have significantly higher DMFT/dmf and modified gingival and plaque indices.13,20 The oral health of HIV-infected children and a reduction in the caries experience are quite important. It is apparent from this and previous studies13-19 that caries in the primary and permanent dentition are considerably increased over the US pediatric population. Recently, the effect of severe caries on the quality of life in children has been examined.21 Tooth-associated pain, difficulty with nutrition, hampered growth as noted by body height and weight, and sleep patterns are adversely altered by severe dental caries in children. It is well known that children infected with HIV have growth retardation and failure to thrive. This may be further complicated by the presence

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Table 5. Primary Dentition Caries in HIV-Infected Children: CD4 Percentage CD4 Percentage Category dfs dft Caries-Free

Presented at the Research Section of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Annual Session, Toronto Canada, May 1999. Supported by a grant from NIH-NIDCR (1-RO1-DE11363)

References
1. HIV/AIDS surveillance report: US HIV and AIDS cases reported through June 1998. 11 (1):3- 37, 1999. 2. Hirsch MS, Wilfert C: IAS position paper on prevention of HIV-1 mother-to-child transmission. IAS Newsletter 13:59, 1999. 3. Basic statistics- international projections/statistics. Joint United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS. CDCNCHSTP-Division of HIV/AIDS prevention. http:// www.cdc.gov/nchstp/hiv_aids/stats. Accessed July 9, 2000. 4. Ramos-Gomez FJ: Oral aspects of HIV infection in children. Oral Diseases 3 (Suppl 1):S31- S35, 1997. 5. Ramos-Gomez FJ, Flaitz CM, Catapano P, Murray P, Milnes AR, Dorenbaum A: Classification, diagnostic criteria, and treatment recommendations for orofacial manifestations in HIV-infected pediatric patients. J Clin Pediatr Dent 23:8596, 1999. 6. Kline MW: Oral manifestations of pediatric human immunodeficiency virus infection: a review of the literature. Pediatr 97:380-88, 1996. 7. Valdez IH, Pizzo PA, Atkinson JC. Oral health of pediatric AIDS patients: a hospital-based study. ASDC J Dent Child 61:114-18, 1994. 8. Ferguson FS, Berentsen B, Nachman S: Experiences of a pediatric dental program for HIV-positive children: oral manifestations and dental diseases observed in 58 children. In: Oral Manifestations of HIV Infection. Ed: Greenspan JS, Greenspan D. Quintessence Publishing Co, Inc: Chicago, 1995 pp. 240-46. 9. Ramos-Gomez FJ, Greenspan D, Greenspan JS: Orofacial manifestations and management of HIV-infected children. Oral Maxillofac Surg Clinics North Amer 6:37-47, 1994. 10. Flaitz CM, Wullbrandt B, Sexton J, Bourden T, Matusa R, Hicks J: Prevalence of orodental findings in HIV-infected children: the Romanian experience. Pediatr Dent 20( Spec Iss):117, 1999. 11. Madigan A, Murray PA, Houpt M, Catalanotto F, Feuerman M: Caries experience and cariogenic markers in HIV-positive children and their siblings. Pediatr Dent 18:129-36, 1996. 12. Howell RB, Jandinski J, Palumbo P, Shey Z, Houpt M: Dental caries in HIV-infected children. Pediatr Dent 14:370-71, 1992. 13. Vieira AR, de Souza IPR, Modesto A, Castro GF, Vianna R: Gingival status of HIV+ children and the correlation with caries incidence and immunologic profile. Pediatr Dent 20:169- 172, 1998. 14. Bretz WA, Flaitz CM, Moretti A, Corby P, Schneider LG, Nichols CM: Medication usage and dental caries outcomerelated variables in HIV/AIDS patients. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, Accepted January 2000. 15. Mulligan R, Alves M, Cheikh B, Brunelle J, Redford M, Henley G, Gange S, Phelan J: Comparison of dental caries experience in HIV+ and HIV- women. J Dent Res 78 (IADR Abstracts):274 (abstract #1347), 1999.

Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Childrens Hospital Oral Manifestation of HIV Study Baseline Examination <15% 15-24% >25% 6 Month Examination <15% 15-24% >25% 12 Month Examination <15% 15-24% >25% 18 Month Examination <15% 15-24% >25% 24 Month Examination <15% 15-24% >25% 30 Month Examination <15% 15-24% >25% 23.9 3.0. 5.1 6.1 2.0 2.1 37% 0% 44% 19.5 15.3 6.3 4.7 6.0 2.1 42% 0% 50% 22.2 17.1 5.3 6.0 4.3 2.1 38% 27% 50% 14.7 7.8 5.1 4.5 3.0 2.2 41% 58% 45% 11.1 7.2 4.3 3.1 3.6 2.0 58% 53% 65% 9.5 6.4 4.9 3.6 3.5 3.8 52% 71% 54%

of severe dental caries in the primary dentition. In pediatric HIV patients, many factors play a role in caries development and attention should be directed toward establishment of a caries prevention regimen prior to the eruption of the primary teeth.

Conclusions
Certain trends were recognized in this descriptive longitudinal study: 1. Primary dentition caries in HIV-infected children is considerably greater than in the US pediatric population (NHANES III). 2. Primary dentition caries in HIV-infected children increases with decreasing CD4 percentage and moderate to severe immune suppression (CDC) categories. 3. Caries-free primary dentitions in HIV-infected children are less frequent than in the US pediatric population (NHANES III), and caries-free primary dentition status decreases with age, lower CD4 percentage, and moderate to severe immune suppression (CDC) categories.

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16. Kaste LM, Selwitz RH, Oldakowski RJ, Brunelle JA, Winn DM, Brown LJ: Coronal caries in the primary and permanent dentition of children and adolescents 1-17 years of age: United States, 1988-1991. J Dent Res 76 (Spec Iss):631-41, 1996. 17. Vargas CM, Crall JJ, Schneider DA: Sociodemographic distribution of pediatric dental caries: NHANES III, 19881994. JADA129:1229-38, 1998. 18. Brown LJ, Wall TP, Lazar V: Trends in untreated caries in primary teeth of children 2 to 10 years old. JADA131;93100, 2000.

19. Brown LJ, Wall TP, Lazar V: Trends in untreated caries in permanent teeth of children 6 to 18 years old. JADA130:1637-44, 1999. 20. Flaitz C, Carter B, Hicks J, Cron S, Rossmann S, Demmler G, Simon C, Kline M: Gingival health in pediatric HIV infection: a longitudinal study. Pediatr Dent 22:240, 2000. 21. Low W, Tan S, Schwartz S: The effect of severe caries on quality of life in young children. Pediatr Dent 21:325-26, 1999.

ABSTRACT OF THE SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE PULP CAPPING OF CARIOUS EXPOSURES


The purpose of this retrospective study was to determine the long term (5 and 10 years) treatment outcomes of pulp capped teeth. 97 patients that had direct pulp capping done following carious exposures were divided into two study groups, 5 years and 10 years post treatment. All pulp capping treatment was performed by dental students using a setting calcium hydroxide paste. Pulp capping was considered a failure if the tooth was extracted, required root canal treatment or if apical rarefaction was noted radiographically. Results for the 5-year group showed a 37% success rate and a 13% success rate for the 10-year group. The authors found that success was not related to patients age at time of treatment, site of pulp exposure or location of tooth in arch, but may have been related to the time of placement of the permanent restoration. The authors concluded that direct pulp capping may be useful in maintaining tooth vitality but not for a prolonged period of time and that a definitive restoration should be placed within 48 hours to maximize success. Comments: Although this study examined a procedure important to pediatric dentist, the conclusions must be considered with caution. The fact that the treatment was completed by multiple dental students and the small sample size make it difficult to generalize these results. MM Address correspondence to: Dr Claudia Barthel, Dept of Operative and Preventive Dentistry and Endodontics. Cahrite, Humboldt University Berlin, Foehrer Str 15, D-13353, Berlin, Germany Pulp Capping of Carious Exposures: Treatment Outcome after 5 and 10 Years: A Retrospective Study. Barthel, C.R.; Rosenkranz, B.; Levenberg, A.; and Roulet, J.F.: J Endo 26: 525-528, September, 2000. 18 references

ABSTRACT OF THE SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE CHLORHEXIDINE VARNISH TO REDUCE S-MUTANS


The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate the use of a chlorhexidine varnish to suppress the interproximal caries incidence in children identified as high caries risk. The experimental group consisted of 107 children, (age 8-10), and the control had 63 children all with high counts of S-Mutans living in a community with no fluoride in the water. The chlorhexidine varnish, (Cervitec) was applied to the mesial surfaces of the first permanent molars, 3 times over a two week period, then followed for two years. There was no difference in the overall caries rate of the two groups after two years but the suppression of the S-Mutans in interproximal plaque may prevent and arrest approximal caries. Comments: The chair time and cost for a specific protective role of a chlorhexidine varnish (Cervitec) on interproximal caries need further evaluation. LHS Address correspondence to: Svante Twetman, Dept. of Pediatric Dentistry, Lanssjukhuset, SE-301 85 Halmstad, Sweden Interdental caries incidence and progression in relation to mutans streptococci suppression after chlorhexidine-thymol varnish treatments in schoolchildren. Twetman, S., and Petersson, L. Acta Odontol Scand 57(3):144-48, 1999. 26 references

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